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L'Ile inconnue

Berlioz (1841)
Gounod - Où voulez-vous aller? (1839)

Dites, la jeune belle,
Où voulez vous aller?
La voile enfle son aile,
La brise va souffler!

L'aviron est d'ivoire,
Le pavillon de moire,
Le gouvernail d'or fin;
J'ai pour lest une orange,
Pour voile une aile d'ange,
Pour mousse un séraphin.

Dites, la jeune belle,
Où voulez vous aller?
La voile enfle son aile,
La brise va souffler!

Est-ce dans la Baltique,
Dans la mer Pacifique,1
Dans l'île de Java,
Ou bien est-ce en Norvège,
Cueillir la fleur des neige,
Ou la fleur d'Angsoka?

Dites, la jeune belle,
Où voulez vous aller?
La voile enfle son aile,
La brise va souffler!

Menez-moi, dit la belle,
A la rive fidèle
Où l'on aime toujours.
_Cette rive, ma chère,
On ne la connaît guère
Au pays des amours.


Théophile Gautier

1Gounod followed Gautier who wrote "Sur la mer" which may be preferable.

The unknown island

 
Where would you like to go?

Tell me, my pretty young girl,
where would you like to go?
The sail fills its wing,
the breeze is going to blow!

The oar is of ivory,
the pennant of silk,
the rudder of fine gold;
I have an orange for ballast,
for a sail, an angel's wing,
for cabin boy, a seraph.

Tell me, my pretty young girl,
where would you like to go?
The sail fills its wing,
the breeze is going to blow!  

Is it to the Baltic,
to the Pacific Ocean,
to the island of Java,
or rather, is it to Norway,
to gather the snow flower,
or the flower of Angoska?

Tell me, my pretty young girl,
where would you like to go?
The sail fills its wing,
the breeze is going to blow!

Lead me, said the pretty one,
to the faithful shore
where one loves for ever.
_That shore, my darling,
is hardly known
in the land of loves.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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